This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.” (Jer. 29:10)

SEVENTY YEARS IS A LONG TIME. That’s a long time to wait for anything, especially a promise from God. Most of the people in exile who heard this promise through the prophet Jeremiah would be dead before seeing it fulfilled.

We’ve all had to wait for something. We wait in lines at grocery stores; we wait for seasons to change; we wait for circumstances to change; we wait for children to grow up and venture out on their own; we wait for children to return. Sometimes we don’t get to experience what we’ve waited on for so long.

Who really enjoys waiting? We twenty-first-century folk want what we want when we want it! Entire advertising campaigns are built around our impatience. We can’t wait to have that certain something; yet when we get it, we quickly lose interest.

Maybe we shouldn’t try to escape the waiting. Maybe there is something to be learned in the waiting. The exiles in Babylon were not alone those seventy years. Their God, Yahweh, was still present and active among them. They had not yet experienced the promise. Instead, they could experience the presence of Him who holds the promise, even while they waited.

Look for evidence of God’s presence during your times of waiting.

Brian Niece is a former pastor who is now pursuing a PhD, writing, spending time with his wife and three kids, and watching way too much football.

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